It’s quiet on the western front, and the eastern front, with it hopefully not a quiet before the storm as for once the world appears to be a bit more calm and a bit more at peace.
That’s after a fairly difficult spring. The Myanmar coup led some to wonder whether the west should stand up for democracy by acts and not just words. In Belarus, democracy was set back too.
War was on the cards in Ukraine, while at the same time in South China Sea there were tensions with almost all neighbors there and China.
Each had the ingredients for a terrible concert, and both tell of a very new story, most clearly where Ukraine is concerned.
Turkey was the first to give them full support in a somewhat curious dance between Erdogan and Putin as they clearly picked sides while being very courteous and friendly to each other.
The defender of Europe is not quite a title Erdogan can wear, but his unequivocal support must have changed calculations. Something that now courts a reward in likely closer relations between Poland and Turkey.
In South China Sea, some may well want to credit Biden diplomacy and that probably had something to do with China leaving the area.
The primary contributor however may well have been an implicit alliance between the neighbors as each were making statements against China’s encroachments.
It wasn’t difficult to see a leap into a full blown alliance which would have created an equal match between China’s military power and that of the neighbors alone, prior to even involving America.
So it may well be that instead China saw its own limits, and thus the end to their spring adventurism.
Spring was not yet over however with Israel taking its turn to see if it can ignite a big fire by bombing Palestinian civilian infrastructure and civilians themselves in some occassions.
Here too some credit Biden’s covert diplomacy, but the ceasefire coincided with rockets flowing in from Lebanon.
This ‘concert’ was about to get a lot less one sided, with Israel too finding its limits as the people of the world seem to be more and more reaching the conclusion that the 1947 UN resolution should now actually be enforced.
That resolution created Israel and was to create a state of Palestine with Jerusalem to be a city state like Vatican.
The Palestinian state was not created because there was an Israel-Arab war, but now decades on some think it is about time the resolution is enforced by sending in a UN peacekeeping force in Palestine to impose order and get rid of the rockets and so have a normal state in addition to a peacekeeping force in Jerusalem where priests, rabbis and imams have their own governance system developed over centuries, so they can keep that because it works largely well and peacefully.
With that also solved in theory, the only thing now left is some shouting at Belarus president Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko for diverting a plane to arrest a journalist.
The only problem here is that Europe, as Chinese miners say of Beijing, is only bark and no bite.
The situation in Belarus first of all is complex from a geopolitical perspective because Lukashenko was not quite getting on very well with Putin.
So making the matter very sensitive, and thus if Europe was going to speak, you’d expect them to do so only if they are very sure they will ‘win’ in the end, whatever that winning looks like.
Otherwise you end up in a situation where Lukashenko has no choice but to be Putin’s lackey, even if he doesn’t quite want that.
It appears Europe has decided that’s a cost worth paying to back the forces of democracy, in which case then you’d expect Europe to be doing quite a bit more instead of just some words that end up isolating Lukashenko without quite achieving much more when he could potentially be offered a detente and closer cooperation with Europe on the condition that free and fair elections are held.
On the latter, it is worth wondering whether Russia does have ‘free’ elections, though not fair, because otherwise why would they take forceful action against opposition candidates.
Once in the ballot then maybe you can win against the odds, but obviously getting in the ballot seems to be a very big problem in Russia where socialism seems to be thriving with big state handouts, hence anyone to the right of socialism is a fascist there.
Both however are mainly internal problems, with raw tensions seemingly subsiding as we near summer.
As geopolitics and bitcoin tend to correlate, did this easing of tensions contribute in part to bitcoin’s fall in price?
The difficulty of answering that question is that bitcoin was falling even as Israel was bombing Gaza, and coincidentally stopped falling almost as soon as a ceasefire was announced.
It’s difficult to make sense of that, except that bitcoin might have a general rule: it correlates until it doesn’t correlate.
The instrument is so complex, both in form and in substance, that it can be only categorized as sui generis.
In form, this is money as you can exchange it, it is a commodity as it’s fixed in supply, it is also a payment system, and then on substance it is global and accessible by anyone through mining or buying and much else.
It is not quite a stock but it’s like a stock. It’s not quite gold but it is like gold. It’s not a house but arguably it’s like a house too from an investment perspective.
So sometime it correlates with stocks, sometime with gold, sometime with house prices, sometime with USD prices and other times with CNY prices while usually it does respond to geopolitical events, but there are so many other factors that sometime it might not respond.
Thus this geopolitical relative quiet can well be good news because maybe geopolitical tensions got too much and perhaps even delusional as the loss of all spring aggressors shows, setting the base for hopefully a quiet summer and maybe even a quiet decade so that we can get some economic growth which should contribute to bitcoin’s rise a lot more because it’s a finite instrument in which some of that increasing growth has to fit in for trade or for investment.